The Xeon vs. EPYC Performance With Intel's oneAPI Embree & OSPray Render Projects

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 30 September 2019 at 07:37 AM EDT. Page 1 of 4. 14 Comments.

With Intel seemingly ramping up work on their open-source OSPray portable ray-tracing engine now that they have pulled it under their oneAPI umbrella as part of a forthcoming rendering tool-kit, I figured it would be the latest interesting candidate for benchmarking of AMD EPYC 7742 vs. Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 performance. In addition, the Embree ray-tracing kernels are also being benchmarked as part of this performance comparison.

An OSPray render demo of McGuire Graphics Data's San Miguel scene.

Intel's oneAPI is expected to see a beta release next quarter and among the libraries making up the oneAPI Rendering Toolkit will be OSPray and Embree. The OSPRay ray-tracing engine is geared for scientific visualizations and supports a wide range of features all while being open-source under the Apache 2.0 license. OSPray also builds off Embree itself as well as the Intel SPMD Program Compiler (ISPC). The SPMD Program Compiler is for Intel's C-derived language optimized for SIMD on their modern architectures.

Oliver Deussen's XFrog Forest demo features 1.7 billion triangles for rendering with OSPray.

The Embree ray-tracing kernels are geared for photo-realistic rendering and optimized for AVX2 and AVX-512.

Thus with all of Intel's software investments into these projects and ramping up for oneAPI, I figured it would be interesting to see how these Intel-optimized open-source projects perform with AMD EPYC "Rome" processors. After all, with other Intel software projects like their Scalable Video Technology (SVT) encoders we've seen great EPYC performance.

Intel's forthcoming oneAPI Rendering Toolkit topology.

The latest releases of Embree and OSPray are now available via the Phoronix Test Suite / for anyone looking at reproducing these tests or looking at the CPU-based rendering performance on their own hardware. Embree and OSPray were tested with a variety of their sample scenes in different configurations. A few other CPU-based render tests outside of Intel's own creations were also tossed in for reference with this Cascadelake vs. Rome render comparison.

Xeon vs. EPYC - Embree, OSPray + Other CPU Based Renderers

Besides the dual Xeon Platinum 8280 and EPYC 7742 servers, the Dell PowerEdge server with dual EPYC 7601 processors were also included for a look at the generational performance with EPYC on this Intel software stack. Ubuntu 19.10 with the Linux 5.3 kernel was running on all these servers under test.

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